“Myself” is a strange portmanteau birthed of the linguistic inconvenience of attempting to describe intangibilities discovered during the inward gaze:

“While I was building that bird house, I missed the nail with the hammer and hit myself,” or “I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming so I pinched myself.”

Especially in Western societies drenched in the primacy of the autonomous individual, the word is a utilitarian necessity at best and a gross understatement at worst. It is used interchangeably with words like “me” and “I” and lacks the gravitation that should be commensurate to such a fundamentally existential idea. “Myself”…


Industry is fond of the notion that designers and engineers fail to see eye-to-eye and this tension results in avoidable design and engineering failures. It’s a bizarre point of pride among the two camps. Designers, and particularly the industrial designer crowd of which I was and still am a part, think of engineers as narrow-minded in their blind focus on numerical empiricism derived from mechanistic purity. Conversely, engineers find the work of the designer to be so hand-wavy and ungrounded that it becomes fantasy. I play for both teams. …


In the start-uppy lingospeak that permeates modern business culture and design, the term MVP (minimum viable product) is often thrown around with reckless abandon:

Start Up Bro 1: Bro, did you see that we achieved sustained 31% quarter on quarter growth over the last three quarters? Profitability, schmoffitability. We’re growth hacking! Start Up Bro 2: Hell yeah, bro! Who would have ever thought that people would be so interested in our health insurance plan as initially demonstrated by our direct-to-consumer subscription for our farm-to-table rutabega-based laxative. Gwyneth called and she said that colonic microcleansing is going to be big in…


There are two types of companies in the world that understand perception as reality better than everyone else: first and foremost are communications firms, and the second is Facebook. Although its lack of self-awareness with regard to its own influence is sometimes shocking, both Facebook’s foundational thesis and raison d’être center on the power (and ultimately the actionability) of shared information among its billions of users. Seeking to monetize this influence, Facebook derives a massive share of its revenue from ad sales and placement within the myriad of networks and sub-platforms under its control. In describing Facebook as the…


The computational needs of designer-y/engineer-y types are generally both esoteric and intensive in that the demands that we place on our tech are both computational resource-heavy and require specific hardware like, for example, 3D trackballs and mice. Few civilians care to learn the nuances of the parametization of physics simulations of anisotropic materials when layered in an isotropic matrices (e.g. how does carbon fiber composite behave during impact load?) nor do folks seem to have any desire to attain enlightenment on the subject of surface texture optimization for expedient GPU-enhanced ray tracing. Ideally, the computers that we use are designed…


If current technologists/media/companies are to be believed, the future of autonomous driving is characterized by previously consumed moments of absolute free time in the midst of traffic while sitting in a vehicle that- by and large- looks the same as your car does now. Entire marketing campaigns and the future of many large multinational corporations are dedicated to the notion that this extreme availability will suddenly engender an incredible influx of creativity and productivity into modern society. People who can’t draw will soon be painting Michelangelo while on the move. Citizens who never considered the nature of the American political…


Before returning that brushed motor that I later regretted purchasing, I plunked down a whole $12.99USD on a DC motor controller. Just shy of thirteen bucks for any sort of complex electrical component is a hell of a deal.

So just how good of a deal is this controller?

The controller. Note the rheostat potentiometer and, behind that, the ON-OFF-ON switch for backwards/forwards control.

As it turns out, it’s truly insane. Here’s why:

The Cost of Electronic Components

Have you ever heard of DigiKey.com? Basically, if there’s a component that has anything to do with electronics anywhere in the world, DigiKey has that exact part for sale and/or has at least ten more of similar specification. If you were to…


So remember all that hub-bub I made about not being able to find a suitable brushless DC motor and blah blah blah back in Part Three and then again in Part Five of this slow motion train crash that is this Medium-based build documentation?

It turns out that was fake news.

I ended up buying a brushed motor as per The Master Plan and it arrived in fine working order direct from China by way of California in just a few days. After looking the motor over and learning more about the torque and speed specifications of my purchase, I…


There’s a really unsexy part of making a complex-something-new that consumes a lot of time: planning and ordering parts. This week was filled with a decent amount of construction and a much larger portion of the ordering parts bit. Here’s the fun stuff:

Welding is harder than it looks, especially when it’s round

The MIG welding process was originally sold to me as the equivalent of a glue gun for metal. It boasted (originally) the option to basically fill gaps equal to the Hormuz Strait in width while retaining the strength of a small nuclear-capable nation state. …


Both my hands are bloody right now. As it turns out, old Chinese ATV parts are particularly rust-prone (and therefore fused into one piece) which then causes my normally friendly tools to bare their pinchiest and pokey-est bits.

A List of Injuries From the Last Week

  1. Pulled lower back muscles (latissimus dorsi?) on both sides while hauling the ATV frame around.
  2. Bruised my upper legs hauling the ATV frame around.
  3. Bruised both my forearms hauling the ATV frame around.
  4. Cut my left wrist while hauling the ATV frame around.
  5. Pinched my left hand in three places while attempting to disengage a pair of vice grips after freeing a…

Marco Cross

Like a shark, I die if I stop moving (and also my eyes swivel 270 degrees).

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